Second World War medals stolen from Southsea museum

A set of four Second World War campaign medals: the 1939-1945 Star, the France and Germany Star, the Defence Medal and the War Medal. stolen from the D-Day Museum in Southsea on May 2

A set of four Second World War campaign medals: the 1939-1945 Star, the France and Germany Star, the Defence Medal and the War Medal. stolen from the D-Day Museum in Southsea on May 2

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POLICE want help in tracking down Second World War medals stolen from a museum.

The burglary took place at the D-Day museum in Clarence Esplanade between 3pm and 4pm on Thursday, May 2.

The covers of two displays inside the museum were unscrewed, and the medals were stolen.

An alarm alerted staff that the theft was taking place. Their whereabouts remain unknown.

The medals are described as:

A British Empire Medal hanging from a fabric red ribbon with a thin white stripe down either side.

On the front of the medal is a picture of Britannia seated and Vernon Harold Sellwood’s name is engraved along the edge. The medal was awarded to Vernon Harold Sellwood, who was serving as a messenger in the Auxiliary Fire Service during the Second World War.

Aged only 15, he received the award for bravery in undertaking the duties of a fireman during the air raid on Portsmouth on the night of 10-11 March 1941.

A set of four Second World War campaign medals were also stolen which include the 1939-1945 Star, the France and Germany Star, the Defence Medal and the War Medal.

These medals are unnamed and when stolen were pinned on a piece of card covered with red felt. The medals and ribbons are all in good condition.

The set of four medals were to a Normandy veteran, Harry Cripps, who served in the 1st Battalion, Hampshire Regiment and landed on Gold Beach on D-Day.

These medals were awarded to all soldiers who landed in Normandy.

Andrew Whitmarsh, D-Day Museum development officer said: ‘These medals are an important part of the D-Day Museum’s displays, and we use them to help tell the story of the wartime events that the museum covers.

‘They are part of the history of the wartime air raids on Portsmouth and the D-Day landings respectively.

‘In the museum they represent not just the two individuals who were awarded the medals, but also the thousands of other men and women who served alongside them in similar roles.’

Police have investigated over the past week, and arrested a suspect, but do not know where the medals are.

A 37-year-old man from Portsmouth was arrested on Saturday on suspicion of theft, questioned and bailed until May 22.

Anyone with information about the theft or the whereabouts of the medals is asked to contact Portsmouth Central Police Station by phoning 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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